The FGC Weekly Roundup returns with a glimpse at this weekend’s biggest events and the stories that mattered this week in the Fighting Game Community. Let’s hop aboard that jet from Street Fighter II and head to Melbourne, Australia for a look at the next leg of the Capcom Pro Tour in Asia: Battle Arena Melbourne 8.
This past week’s Thaiger Uppercut and Street Fighter V Crash events saw some lesser known names carving out a place on the CPT leaderboards and some of the very best players (including Infiltration and Tokido) throwing down in Seoul. The action heads down to Melbourne for the 8th annual Battle Arena Melbourne hosted by CouchWarriors partnered with NewGamePlusTV. Vital CPT points are at stake here (for the first time since August 2014 at Shadowloo Showdown) but, for the first time in a while, Tekken 7 will be playable at the CQ Events Center in Melbourne where the tournament is taking place. BAM8 will also play host to some high-level international Smash 4 and Melee play and serves as a Worldwide TournaQualifierlifer for Dead or Alive 5: Last Round‘s Battle Royal 2016.
The Street Fighter V tournament will feature the likes of Mago, EG|Momochi, MJS|Haitani, and Razer|Xian. Complete brackets can be found here but, without a doubt, the four Japanese elites making their way to Australia will be the likely highlight of the weekend. Mago, one of the Gods of Street Fighter, has had an illustrious professional career and his accolades in Street Fighter IV were numerous. He is, however, unsponsored at the moment as his former sponsor, MadCatz, made some cuts recently. Momochi, one of the best Ken players on the planet, is a student of the game and has seen so much success in recent years that a matchup between the two should be “Must-See” entertainment over the course of #MBA8.
Mago’s character of choice in the Street Fighter 4 days, Yang, isn’t available so far in Street Fighter V so the question remains? Who does Mago go with going forward? So far the head of the Kanzuki Zaibatsu, Karin, appears to be his go-to. Momochi, former Capcom Pro Tour 2014 winner and EVO 2015 champion, is renowned for his mastery of Ken. His recent work online shows he’s been learning this roster inside and out. His online “lecture” series breaking down every single character are worth a look even if you’re the most seasoned World Warrior.
MJS|Haitani has made a strong showing in Premier Events so far this year in the CPT and he looks to climb the ladder further in Melbourne. Team Razer’s Xian will likely be a roadblock for him along the way. The two have exchanged blows in the past as Haitani’s Makoto was always a tough matchup for Xian’s Gen during the Street Fighter IV era. This is a new age, though, and Haitani already has 66 CPT points and will likely qualify for the Capcom Cup Finals at this rate. Xian, without Gen in sight to go to, has chosen F.A.N.G as his main though his work with Nash has been spotted various times this year. Haitani’s Necalli is top shelf and it remains to be seen if Xian can make Shadowloo’s second-in-command a force to be reckoned with in the international scene.
The demise of Shadowloo Showdown as one of Australia’s biggest fighting game events means that Battle Arena Melbourne is now one of the biggest events for Australia’s best and brightest to showcase their talents. The brightest name among them is Xavier “Somniac” Nardella who won last year’s Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament and a Top-8 finish in the CPT Asia qualifiers last year. Fighting games, at their roots, have always been about pride and representing your neighborhood. The FGC is a global community that is all about representing your coast, your team, your country as best as possible. We’ll see if Somniac and the other Australian pros in the region can fight off the rising tide of Japan’s elite. All of the weekend’s Street Fighter V action can be found over at NewGamePlusTV. SF5 Pools kick off at 10 AM AEST (Saturday)/ 8PM ET (Friday).
It wouldn’t be a major fighting game tournament without the Smash community involved and #BAM8 is no exception. Both Super Smash Bros. for Wii-U and Super Smash Bros. Melee will be featured this weekend with heavy regional implications and international presence moving forward towards bigger global events like EVO.
The drama and storylines of the North American majors take a break this week to allow some of the best Aussie Smash4 and internationals steal the spotlight. This isn’t just a matter of stepping onto the global stage but also for regional pride as some of the best from Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will all be converging upon Melbourne to duke it out.
One of the names to watch will be Ghost as he is the Southern Cross Championships 2015 champion. He has been honing his skills with Bayonetta this year so far and stands out amongst a crowded field of stacked local talent to possibly take the whole thing. Other names to watch for this weekend? Jezmo (a scary Diddy Kong player), Luco (a Ness/Lucas player who’s made waves recently), Earl (Ryu player who has held the top spot in Victoria for some time) and Poppt1 (Ness player who went on a rampage earlier this year with 18 consecutive tournament wins) just to name a few.
The local boys will have their hands full, though, as some top-shelf international talent is also making their way to Melbourne. Chief among them is Abadango, winner of Pound 2016 and one of the best MewTwo players in the world. He’ll be joined by the best in Europe, Mr. R. He’s best known for his unrelenting Sheik play and the results speak for themselves. Umeki’s devastating Peach (along with those insane infinites) and 9B round out the cast of killers assembled for Smash4 this weekend. Every moment of the action can be found on MelbourneMelee and SASMelbourneSmash. All the action kicks off at 8 PM ET on Friday with Smash4 and Melee pools.
Few games bring the raw fervor of the FGC out more than Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. The intensity between the top talent in Marvel, the salt of close losses and the devastating hype of those who claim victory in a game of Gods and Superheroes. Some call it a dead game but, for many, it is still one of the most entertaining things to watch when it comes to the FGC and Evolution will continue to feature it on the main stage this year and indefinitely until, well, there’s simply nobody left to play it. But what if something were to happen that could change things entirely? What if UMvC3 wasn’t the last gasp of Mahvel?
TechRaptor reported earlier this week on the rather abrupt change in Disney’s approach to game publishing and the cancellation of the Disney Infinity franchise. The loss of jobs and money on the part of the House Mickey Built has a potential side-effect. Their step away from game publishing into licensing out their properties again opens the door, potentially, for the return of a Marvel Vs. game. Could Marvel vs. Capcom 4 actually happen? The community over at r/MVC3 started a petition via Change.org to ensure the voice of the fans is heard. The petition, as of publication, has over 6100+ signature.
It is a shame that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 slowly sank the way it did and, due to a loss of licensing agreements, can no longer be legally purchased online. It hasn’t received an update in years, yet the community surrounding it still thrives. It is a testament to just how hype, what fans affectionately call it, Mahvel can be. It’s MAHVEL BAYBEE!!!! #MVC4
This week’s Canada Cup Vancouver Series (meant to replace the long-running Master Series from years past) will feature other games including Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear XRD: Revelator, Mortal Kombat XL, Smash 4 and Melee and more. The main attraction, however, is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Tournament organizer Lap Chi Duong has scheduled three big exhibition matches featuring the EG|Justin Wong, BE|KaneBlueRiver, and Canada Cup champion BEE Marvel. It’s great to see a tournament who’s focus is Mahvel. All the action can be found over at CanadaCup on Twitch.
Alex Myers Signs with Ronin
— Ronin (@RoninHQ) May 10, 2016
Alex Myers, a rising star within the Street Fighter ranks, hot off a recent Top 16 showing at West Coast Warzone and fifth place at Northwest Majors 8, has signed with Ronin. He sits at 14th place on the North American CPT leaderboards with 10 points but the season has a long way to go. He was known during the Street Fighter IV era for his very aggressive Sakura play and has chosen Cammy to main with SFV. Cammy’s toolset enables him to go all-out with a slightly shorter combo ceiling than Sakura afforded him prior.
His first major tournament as a sponsored player will be at CEO 2016 (Community Effort Orlando) on June 24-26. It will provide the young Myers his biggest test to date as nearly every major player in the FGC will be present at an event that is so big some even say it rivals Evolution in scope. The wrestling ring and entrance music definitely help add to the hype. Let’s see what Alex Myers can do moving forward into the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour.
Red Bull Partners with Daigo Umehara
Daigo “The Beast” Umehara is a name that is synonymous with success in professional gaming. Few competitors, across any game, have stacked up the number of championships he has. He’s a multi-EVO winner in Street Fighter IV (six times total across all the games he’s played) but, more importantly, he’s been winning tournaments since 1998. He’s known as a “God of Street Fighter” and the “God of 2D Fighters” for his wins in titles ranging from Capcom vs. SNK to Guilty Gear XX. He has his own ongoing manga series, an upcoming Kinetiquettes figure that showcases The Beast between his two characters during the Street Fighter IV era, Ryu and Evil Ryu. He might best known for EVO Moment #37, though.
If one moment could totally personify the FGC it is likely this one. It was even transformed into a trial for the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition. He is a player that has transcended the status of even needing to attend tournaments on a monthly basis as he has yet to earn a single point on the Capcom Pro Tour ladder this season. That’s where Red Bull comes in.
His recent endeavors into hosting his own tournament this past April and Red Bull has decided to partner with the Beast in order to help him expand his community building endeavors. This includes helping provide a tricked-out studio from which to broadcast his weekly show, DaigoTheBeasTV. The production value of his weekly show has shot up immensely but he’ll also continue hosting tournaments with the backing of Red Bull starting in August.
He joins a growing list of superstars within the FGC that are either sponsored or co-sponsored by Red Bull such as Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis , Takahashi “Bonchan” Masato and former EVO champion Olivier “Luffy” Hay. His partnership will also result in one of Daigo’s books, The Willpower to Keep Winning, being printed in English for the West. His newly acquired partnership with Red Bull (as he is still sponsored by Mad Catz) where he will return to defend his crown at Stunfest 2016 in Rennes, France. More to come as details emerge regarding this partnership between Daigo and Red Bull.
Capcom CEO Admits Street Fighter V Needed More Polish
The recent investors briefing for Capcom featured Kenzo Tsujimoto admitting a painfully obvious fact as far as Street Fighter V goes. It didn’t come out quite as “polished” as it should have. Things such as a “lack of content” and “server issues” potentially hampered the game at launch and it seems to have no quite hit the initial sales marks Capcom laid out for it. Full text of the briefing can be found here.
The above video, created by CPM-fiend and FGC champion Maximillian, goes a bit deeper on the issues that Street Fighter V has had in regards to investor relations. The 1.4 million units sold didn’t hit Capcom’s self-defined goal of 2 million but, truthfully, the real number is a bit murkier. 1.4 million units were shipped as opposed to that many sold. We’ll never likely get an exact number from launch to now as far as physical copies were sold. Do the sales numbers equal out to this game being a failure?
The tournament scene is popping off in ways we haven’t seen before. Tournaments are putting registration caps on numbers of players while EVO 2016 has over 4000 players signed up for Street Fighter V so far. It seems that, as far as the FGC goes, this game is a big success amongst what is, realistically, a smaller number of people compared to the general populace. The Capcom Pro Tour’s expansion seems to signal a potential change in the way Capcom approaches the franchise entirely. We already know their stance as the game as a platform and not wanting to issue subsequent iterative editions as they’ve done before. The real revenue stream, for the future, will come from downloadable content. Characters, costumes, stages and so forth.
It is a tough situation to determine, honestly, as Street Fighter is a marquee name when it comes to fighting games. Can a franchise thrive while catering mostly to its hardcore audience? Perhaps Capcom has started to shift their approach but, initially, felt that Street Fighter V would have the same impact that Street Fighter IV did when it hit the scene in 2008/2009. The landscape of video games has changed immensely in that time and, so too, must Capcom in regards to its metrics for success and what is considered “successful” for a fighting game in 2016 and beyond. E3 could be interesting indeed as we’ll likely hear more regarding future plans for the game. Stay tuned, World Warriors.
First things first. Fix the input lag issue that is currently affecting the game. 8 frames of input latency is a detriment to reactionary players greatly and for footsies-specialists like RedBull’s SnakeEyez it can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Dreamhack Austin had numerous complaints from players throughout the weekend about and the problem is getting more noticed by the day. It’s very similar to the initial PS4 versions of Ultra Street Fighter IV with its terrible input latency. Perhaps a simple patch is in order to fix it? Let’s hope so.
That will do it for this week’s FGC Weekly Roundup. We’ll be back next week with a recap of Battle Arena Melbourne and more. I’ll leave you with a look at two members of the Trinity of Kens (EchoFox|Julio and Chris Tatarian) squaring off in a blistering set. Stay free, Internet.